What role did bias play in Americans' response to World War I?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The answer to this depends to some degree on what we mean by bias.

On the one hand, Americans' response to the war was somewhat colored by bias against Germans.  There had been a great deal of immigration in the late 1800s and early 1900s and people were somewhat leery of all immigrants, including Germans.  This bias against Germans in America translated to some degree to a bias against Germany in the war.

But the main reason for America's attitude in this war was economic.  If this counts as bias (clearly, this is not ethnic or racial bias), then bias played a very important role.  America traded much more with England (particularly as the war went on) than it did with Germany.  This led many Americans to be biased in favor of England because that was in line with their economic interests.

Therefore, we can say that bias played a moderate to great role in Americans' response to the war, depending on how you define bias.

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